By: Andy Odorzynski, Induron National Sales Manager
Over a decade ago, Induron was in the process of developing several new products for our water tank and water treatment plant clients. The nation was in the midst of adopting new standards for VOC emissions, and we wanted to make sure we were ready to deal with them.
During this process, we were left with a choice: Develop a product that meets the minimum requirements of today OR look at the direction of regulation and develop for the future. As it turns out, our decision to develop for the future is making life much easier for Induron and our partner’s today as the nation prepares for the implementation of NSF 600 on January 1, 2023.
Most coating manufacturers have a simple formula for designing and selling products: Clone someone else’s existing technology and sell it cheaper than the existing options. During our product development process, we looked toward the coating needs of the future rather than simply replicating existing technology. Yes, it was more difficult, more time consuming and more costly, but we are committed to the idea that our value in this market comes from innovation–not low-dollar replication.
When preparing for the OTC phase 1 regulation of a decade ago, it was obvious to us that the elimination of many more solvents in the future was inevitable and only a matter of time. As a result, we made the choice to not only reduce the VOCs in any new Induron products we designed, but to also go a step further and eliminate Hazardous Air Pollutants (“HAPs”) from our new formulas. This was an expensive move, and it absolutely made selling our products more difficult in the short run because of the impact on cost. However, because of this forward-thinking decision Induron products have been releasing lower levels VOC’s and HAPS into the environment for years.
Now, as much of the nation prepares to adopt the requirements of NSF 600 into the existing NSF 61 standard, we find ourselves feeling that NSF 600 is truly “Much Ado About Nothing”–at least for those who have partnered with Induron. Our decision to go HAPs free all those years ago left us with a fully-compliant catalog of NSF 61/600-approved products, which already have more than a decade of proven performance. We planned ahead and made long-term investments.
While it may seem simple, this highlights something that is fundamentally different about Induron. For me, this is exactly the value of working with a privately-held business that directly employs its representative. We are a coatings company, run by coatings people. We do not answer to quarterly projections of external investors. We do not have to sell through a costly team of “middle-men” distributors, who may or may not share the values of our company.
Many people have asked me over the past year, “If Induron saw this coming and you aren’t losing any products, why is everyone losing products and scrambling?” I believe the answer is in our bones: it’s who we are. We truly are very different from the other coatings manufacturers out there. We are different in our ownership as a privately-held business, in our philosophy of innovation, and in the way we represent our products to the market. It’s really not surprising that all these differences produce different outcomes from companies owned by Wall Street or fractured into 40 independent businesses each marching to their own beat. We are different by design, and that’s the plan.
If you are being told that NSF 600 is a huge change for the industry and your specifications must be immediately adapted, I think now is a great time to ask yourself why you are dealing with an emergency just because your supplier was unprepared. If you are already an Induron partner, rest easy. We took care of this a decade ago, and that’s why you work with us.